The Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE) was developed at NASA s Langley Research Center to explore the applications of lidar operated from an orbital platform. As a technology demonstration experiment, LITE was developed to gain experience designing and building future operational orbiting lidar systems. Since LITE was the first lidar system to be flown in space, an important objective was to validate instrument design principles in such areas as thermal control, laser performance, instrument alignment and control, and autonomous operations. Thermal and structural analysis models of the instrument were developed during the design process to predict the behavior of the instrument during its mission. In order to validate those mathematical models, extensive engineering data was recorded during all phases of LITE's mission. This inflight engineering data was compared with preflight predictions and, when required, adjustments to the thermal and structural models were made to more accurately match the instrument s actual behavior. The results of this process for the thermal analysis and design of LITE are presented in this paper.